- By Paul Ejime
As widely expected, the American Congress early Thursday confirmed President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the disputed November 3, vote.
But an otherwise perfunctory legislative duty took an unprecedented turn after outgoing President Donald Trump’s supporters stormed Capitol Hill. After addressing them at a rally in front of the White House Trump supporters marched to Capitol Hill venue of Congress and forced their way into the legislative building as Congress sat in a joint session to certify the electoral college votes that confer Biden’s victory.
Apparently fired up by the out-going president’s baseless claim of massive electoral fraud his supporters morphed into a violent mob, breaking window and door glasses into the hallowed legislative Chambers. Some climbed on the building, while others sat on chairs/tables of presiding officers.
One protester removed the American flag and replaced it with that of Trump.
Gun shots were fired and at least four people were killed, including one woman shot at the Congress princent, who later died.
American lawmakers and their legislative staff were evacuated.
But in a demonstration of commitment to democracy, both houses resumed sitting hours later to continue the vote count and Biden’s eventual certification.
In response to the chaos, authorities in Washington D.C. were forced to impose a night curfew with security reinforcement later clearing the streets.
A state of emergency has been extended until Biden’s inauguration on January 20.
Trump’s continued incitement and unsubstantiated claims of fraudulent elections forced the social media networks Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to suspend his accounts.
Elsewhere in Georgia, Biden’s Democratic party captured the two Congressional seats in the tightly fought elections putting it at par with Trump’s Republican party with 50 senators each. This gives the Democrats control of the White House and both legislative Chambers at the Capitol, since Biden’s deputy Senator Kamala Harris can cast her vote in case of a tie.
Wednesday’s show of shame variously described as a coup d’ etat and an insurrection, has left the world and Americans alike in shock.
The invasion and desecration of Congress, with the deaths, added to the long list of Trump’s infamous legacies as he leaves the White House on January 20.
Meanwhile, some 100 Democratic lawmakers Thursday called for Trump’s removal from office. A number of his former allies including his vice president Mike Pence have broken ranks with him.
But president-elect Biden has appealed for a return to decency, and Trump, perhaps, sensing that the game is up, has pledged a peaceful transition of power.
The jury is now out on the fate of democracy in a country that prides itself as the World’s oldest democracy, a land of freedom, human rights and equal opportunities.
– Jan. 7, 2021 @ 3:56 GMT /